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Enrollment Forms and Copies of Social Security Cards New Item

Date Posted: August 17, 2011
Category: Employers

When enrolling a new employee into one of the retirement plans administered by the South Carolina Retirement Systems, employers who use the South Carolina Enterprise Information System (SCEIS) for this transaction do not need to send an enrollment form or a copy of the new member’s Social Security card to the Retirement Systems. However, to add beneficiaries to the newly hired employee’s account, the Retirement Systems still requires a notarized Beneficiary Designation (Form 1102) or Beneficiary/Trustee Designation (Form 1103) from all employers.

If you are an employer who does NOT use SCEIS, you must complete a Retirement Plan Enrollment (Form 1100) and send it to the Retirement Systems in order to enroll a new employee in a retirement plan. However, you are no longer required to send a copy of the Social Security card with the enrollment form.

Form 5202 and Publications New Item

Date Posted: July 27, 2011
Category: Employers

Beginning this fiscal year, the Retirement Systems will no longer print the Covered Employer Procedures Manual or the SCRS and PORS member handbooks. The electronic versions of the manual and handbooks will be updated each fiscal year and published on our website. We are in the process of revising our website to make it easier for you to direct your employees to the publications that they need or to print your own copies of the handbooks and manual (if you so desire). We will continue to print the tri-fold brochures which contain an overview of each system.

To order a supply of the brochures, please email your request to supplies@retirement.sc.gov. The brochures may also be viewed and printed from our website at http://www.retirement.sc.gov/publications/default.htm. We will notify you when we update current publications or add new ones to our website.

Accounting and Financial Reporting Resource Center New Item

Date Posted: July 21, 2011
Category: Members/Employers

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) recently released two proposals for revised accounting and financial reporting standards related to public pension plans. These “exposure drafts” would change the way public pension plans calculate and report the costs and obligations of the plans and would require employers participating in the plans to report in their financial statements their share of the pension plan costs and obligations. Retirement Systems staff is reviewing the exposure drafts and will be prepared to provide education and guidance to its participating employers to ensure smooth implementation of the proposed standards if approved by GASB. Visit our GASB Resource Center for more information about these proposals.

FY 2011-2012 Employer Contribution Rates New Item

Date Posted: June 24, 2011
Category: Employers

Note: The insurance surcharge referred to in this article applies only to those organizations that provide retiree insurance through the State Health and Dental plans. If your organization does not provide retiree insurance through the state plans, please disregard this section of the article.

The South Carolina Retirement Systems is required to collect and forward to the SC Budget and Control Board Employee Insurance Program the employer contribution rate necessary to cover the costs of providing health and dental insurance to retirees covered by the State Health and Dental plans. Effective July 1, 2011, the insurance surcharge rate will increase from 3.90 percent to 4.30 percent.

Contribution rates effective July 1, 2011, are available here.

Be Sure to Print Your Employer Training Materials! New Item

Date Posted: June 24, 2011
Category: Employers

If you have registered to attend one of our employer training seminars, you need to print your own classroom materials and bring them with you to the seminar. We have posted all of the files you will need on our website at www.retirement.sc.gov/employers/resources. We have included a PDF version of each segment of the seminar for those of you who do not have Microsoft PowerPoint. Also included on the website are all the appendix materials. We hope you find the training informative and useful.

Retirees expected to receive 1.7 percent COLA New Item

Date Posted: June 15, 2011
Category: Members/Employers

Eligible retirees of the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) and the Police Officers Retirement System (PORS) are expected to receive a 1.7 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in their benefit checks effective July 1, 2011.

Current state law provides that each July 1, eligible SCRS and PORS retirees will receive an automatic COLA equal to the percentage of the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index for Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) as of the previous December 31, up to an increase of 2 percent. As of December 31, 2010, the CPI-W increased by 1.7 percent from December 2009 to December 2010.

Retired PORS members are eligible for COLAs the second July 1 after their date of retirement. Retired SCRS members who retired with 28 years of service or on or after their 60th birthday are eligible for COLAs the second July 1 after their date of retirement. However, SCRS members who retired under early retirement provisions at age 55 with 25 years of service are not eligible for COLAs until the second July 1 after they reach age 60 or the second July 1 after the date they would have attained 28 years of service credit had they not retired.

Automatic COLAs are triggered only during periods of inflation.

Fall 2011 Regional Retirement Seminars New Item

Date Posted: May 6, 2011
Category: Members/Employers

If you are one year or less away from being eligible to apply for retirement, the South Carolina Retirement Systems wants to help make sure you have all of the information you need to make the decisions that are best for you. We offer a one day seminar designed to answer all of your questions and more. Presenters from the Retirement Systems, the South Carolina Deferred Compensation Program, the Social Security Administration, and the Employee Insurance Program will provide you with the information needed to successfully navigate the retirement process. Go to www.retirement.sc.gov/events to see the list of the fall 2011 regional retirement seminars. Scroll through the list until you find a seminar that is near your area and then click “register” to enroll.  

Supreme Court issues ruling in Ahrens/Arnold vs. SCRS/PORS New Item

Date Posted: May 3, 2011
Category: General

Today, May 2, 2011, the Supreme Court of South Carolina issued a ruling in the Ahrens/Arnold vs. SCRS/PORS law suit in which working retirees who retired and returned to work prior to July 1, 2005 challenged the requirement that they make employee contributions to the Retirement Systems.  The Supreme Court determined that the statutes which initially allowed retired members to return to work without making contributions did not create a contract and could therefore be amended to require the working retirees to make such contributions.  As such, the Court also determined that the Legislature was not estopped or prohibited from changing the law in 2005 to provide that retired members employed in positions covered by the Retirement Systems must make the same employee contributions as active members occupying the same or similar positions.  As a result, the Retirement Systems will continue to collect and retain employee contributions from working retirees.  The plaintiffs have fifteen days to seek reconsideration or rehearing and the decision will not be final until the time for rehearing or reconsideration ends. 

Open Enrollment Reminder for State ORP Eligible Employers

Date Posted: January 4, 2011

Category: Employers

The enrollment period for all State Optional Retirement Program (State ORP) participants is January 1 through March 1 of each year. During the open enrollment period, State ORP participants may change vendors or, if eligible, may irrevocably elect to join the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS). Any State ORP participant who wishes to change vendors should complete a State ORP Notice of Termination or Change (Form 1162). State ORP participants who have a minimum of 12 months of participation but no more than 60 months of participation by March 1, 2011, (hired between January 1, 2006 and March 1, 2010) are eligible to switch from State ORP to SCRS during the 2011 open enrollment period. Read More

2011 Training Dates are Now Online

Date Posted: December 1, 2010
Category: Employers


The dates for the 2011 Employer Training classes have been added to the Retirement Systems’ Web site. You can view the classes and dates available at http://www.retirement.sc.gov/events/.

Latest EES Enhancement is Here

Date Posted: October, 2010
Category: Employers


The South Carolina Retirement Systems is pleased to announce that the latest enhancement to the Electronic Employer Services (EES) system is now available.  We hope this new feature will allow for an easier and more secure method of exchanging information and will help us provide better customer service to both our members and covered employers. Read More

Online Remittance Process Now Available

Date Posted: August, 2010
Category: Employers


In our continuing effort to provide enhanced service to our members and employers, the South Carolina Retirement Systems has created an improved method of submission by employers of member installment service purchase remittances. The previous paper form 3229 has been replaced by an online interactive version which provides real-time information concerning members’ installment accounts through the use of color coding and informational text.

Furlough Program for Members of SCRS or PORS

Date Posted: August, 2010
Category: Employers


The General Assembly recently passed legislation that authorizes a county governing body to institute a furlough program that allows, among other things, the county to make employer and employee retirement contributions on behalf of furloughed employees during the furlough period. Should a county opt to institute such a furlough program, certain restrictions and guidelines established by the new legislation must be followed. Attached to this memorandum is a copy of the Act creating the furlough program for your review. It should be noted that county governing bodies are also authorized to implement employee furloughs in any other manner authorized by law without participating in this furlough program. A county should not, however, remit any retirement contributions for a furloughed employee unless the county is participating in this furlough program and following all of the guidelines set out in the attached legislation.

Board Approves Employer Rate Increases

Date Posted: July 2, 2010
Category: Employers


At its June 30, 2010, meeting, the SC Budget and Control Board approved the following contribution rate increases for employers participating in the South Carolina Retirement System (SCRS) and the Police Officers Retirement System (PORS).

Effective July 1, 2011, the SCRS employer contribution rate will increase 0.145 percent and the PORS employer contribution rate will increase 0.2325 percent. Effective July 1, 2012, the contribution rates for SCRS and PORS employers will increase another 0.145 percent and 0.2325 percent, respectively.

The Board approved the increases based on the recommendations of the actuaries who conducted the annual valuations of the two retirement plans.

Click here for a full table illustrating the rate increases.

Updated SCRS and PORS Tri-Fold Brochures Now Available

Date Posted: July 1, 2010
Category: Employers


The July 2010 editions of the SCRS and PORS Your Plan at a Glance tri-fold brochures are available online. These brochures have been updated to reflect any legislative and other changes that have occurred since July 1, 2009. A paper supply of the these brochures will be available within the next two to three weeks and may be requested at that time by contacting Customer Services at 803-737-6800, toll free at 800-868-9002, or by completing our e-mail contact form. Employers may also complete and submit to the Retirement Systems by mail a Employer Supply Request (Form 5202).

July 2010 Employer Update Now Available Online

Date Posted: July 1, 2010
Category: Employers


The July 2010 edition of the South Carolina Retirement Systems’ Employer Update is now available on our website. This online edition of Employer Update has the most recent information concerning issues affecting the Retirement Systems and, quite possibly, you. The July edition includes our annual legislative update as well.

Online Employer Training Modules Now Available

Date Posted: June 25, 2010
Category: Employers


The South Carolina Retirement Systems is pleased to announce the addition of an online employer training area to our website. Here you will find a set of computer-based-training modules that contain the same information covered in our onsite and regional employer training classes. Topics include membership and enrollment, the reporting process, leaving covered employment, the service purchase process, and the death claims process.

These training modules are available to you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and are a great way to learn at your own pace and when your schedule permits. You’ll also save money by not having to travel to Columbia or an area closer to you for our onsite training seminar.

FY 2010-2011 Employer Contribution Rates

Date Posted: June 25, 2010
Category: Employers

Note: The insurance surcharge referred to in this article applies only to those organizations that provide retiree insurance through the State Health and Dental plans. If your organization does not provide retiree insurance through the state plans, please disregard this section of the article.

The South Carolina Retirement Systems is required to collect and forward to the SC Budget and Control Board Employee Insurance Program the employer contribution rate necessary to cover the costs of providing health and dental insurance to retirees covered by the State Health and Dental plans. Effective July 1, 2010, the insurance surcharge rate will increase from 3.50 percent to 3.90 percent. Click the "more" button or the link header above for the employer rates for fiscal year 2011. Read More

Important Information About Disability Retirement Applications

Date Posted: May 24, 2010
Category: Members

Legislation has been enacted to allow the South Carolina Retirement Systems to accept a disability retirement application from an otherwise eligible member if the application is received by the Retirement Systems within 90 days of the member’s date of termination from employment. Read More